BY SAM ALFAN .
Tatu City company is now free to develop part of contested land after the High Court lifted an order obtained in July by a firm claiming ownership of the parcel.
Justice Josephine Mongare lifted the injunction obtained by Dubai Gems from a Kiambu court saying the company failed to establish why the injunction should remain in force.
“The Tatu City’s application of 17th July 2023 is successful,” ruled the judge.
The judge further stated that after considering and evaluating the material placed before her, she was not satisfied that the company has an outright claim to membership of the Tatu City.
The judge said that the route to membership is convoluted through an intricate and complex web of transactions and will require to be established with evidence that can be tested through examination of the material upon which the company places reliance.
“It is in my view that this is not something that the court can determine at an interlocutory stage and without conducting a full hearing of the case herein” the judge said.
The judge added, “I am therefore not persuaded that the Plaintiff has established a prima facie case to warrant the grant of the said orders sought,” ruled the judge while dismissing the application by Dubai Gems ltd.
Dubai Gems ltd had claimed that by virtue of a deed of transfer from one Stephen Mbugua Mwagiru whom by virtue of a power of attorney from one Ettiene Deblar, owns a 4 percent shareholding at Tatu City.
Tatu city through veteran lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi told the court Dubai Gems ltd had no single share in multi billion special economic zone
Tatu City provided a CR12 to demonstrate that the said Ettiene Deblar is not a shareholder of Tatu city and therefore has no shares to transfer to Dubai Gems ltd or donate to any other person.
Dubai Gems obtained the order on 13 July 2023 stopping Tatu City and Cedar IV ltd from undertaking any dealings on the land comprising of 996.6 hectares of the land, which Tatu City maintains is the absolute owner.
Tatu City Limited and Cedar IV limited then moved to court to lift the order stopping them from carrying out development on some part of the expansive land.
The court heard that the suit property measures 2,462.5 acres and is worth over Sh123 billion and the injunction will be catastrophic for Tatu City who uses the proceeds of the sale to repay colossal loans it borrowed offshore.
The court further heard that Dubai Gems ltd and Tatu City are total strangers and have no legal relationship whatsoever and the company is not a member, a shareholder or director of Tatu Citys’ companies.
“He is unknown to Tatu City and Dubai Gems ltd has no cause of action against the Tatu City and has no relationship and never interacted with Dubai Gems ltd in any way. Being “total strangers” is not strong enough to describe their strangeness to one another.
Ahmednasir added that it is legally inconceivable in the absence of any legal dealing and relationship between Dubai Gems ltd and Tatu city for the company to establish a prima facie case with a probability of success and obtain an ex parte order stopping the sole legal and registered proprietor of the suit property from any dealings relating to the same
“That a court of equity cannot injunct the owner of a property from exercising his property rights and that in a dispute over ownership of a company between shareholders the property rights of the company are not in play for such property is solely owned by the company and cannot be the subject of litigation between the shareholders of the company,” Ahmednasir told the judge.
He dismissed Dubai Gems adding that the company’s entire claim is based on agreement between it and one Stephen Mbugua Mwagiru dated 16th March 2023 in which Dubai Gems allegedly bought without any consideration certain shares Mwagiru held in a company called Blacknight Holdings.
Blacknight Holdings, he said, is not a member, shareholder or director of Tatu city and are total strangers.
“A stranger cannot come to a court of equity and obtain an injunction in the circumstances Dubai Gems ltd did,” Ahmednasir told the court.